2019 Health Security Act Introduced

[Updated January 24, 2019 to include all sponsor names]

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The 2019 Health Security Act was introduced in both houses of the New Mexico legislature on January 21. 

In the Senate, it’s bill number 279 (so, SB 279); in the House, it’s bill number 295 (so, HB 295). For committee assignments, see “What Happens Next?” below.

The full bill is available on our The Plan page, along with a table of contents and index.

Senate Bill

Sens. Carlos Cisneros, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Bill Soules, Richard Martinez, and Peter Wirth introduced the Health Security Act in the State Senate.

Sen. Cisneros, who is vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, noted that “passage of the Health Security Act this year will initially result in a prudent fiscal analysis of the details of the plan. No other steps will be taken until we are certain that the finances will work and that it will be revenue neutral.” As Sen. Cisneros indicated, the first phase of the Act will be a fiscal analysis to make certain that the Health Security Plan is financially feasible. Only after that is determined will the plan be set up.

Sen. Ortiz y Pino, chair of the Senate Public Affairs Committee, observed that “the time has come for the Health Security Act. I feel that it will pass the legislature this year and start us on the path to financially sustainable, affordable, quality health care for all New Mexicans.”

House Bill

Reps. Debbie Armstrong, Bobby Gonzales, Gail Chasey, Patricia Roybal Caballero, and Joanne Ferrary introduced the Health Security Act in the State House of Representatives.

Sen. Armstrong, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee, noted, “The Health Security Act will make a great improvement in our lives. It is a systemic solution that ensures that all New Mexicans will have health insurance coverage with comprehensive benefits. Since the premiums will be on a sliding scale based on income, working families will be able to afford it.”

Over 160 New Mexico organizations support the Health Security Act, and 35 counties and municipalities have passed resolutions in support. The most recent was the City of Albuquerque, which passed its resolution with a bipartisan 9-0 vote.

What Happens Next?

Each bill has been assigned to three committees.

HB 295 committees: Health & Human Services, then State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs, then Appropriations & Finance

SB 279 committees: Public Affairs, then Judiciary, then Finance

The bill goes to each assigned committee in turn. If your senator or representative is on a committee that’s considering the Health Security Act, we’ll be asking you to call to express your support for passage. And of course when the bill gets to the full House or Senate, all the legislators have a chance to vote. (For more information on how the legislative process works, take a look at our handy guide.)

That means that this is a great time to make sure you know who your legislators are, in both the House and the Senate. You can find out online, using the legislature’s Find My Legislator tool, or you can call your county clerk and ask.

We’ll keep you posted about when committee hearings on the bill will take place. We need lots of supporters to fill the hearing rooms!

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